01 March 2008
pig latin . . .
I think the best strategy is to smile and ask them if they know what the word actually means. They won't—if they did, they wouldn't be using it that way.
1 - favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties
2 — favorable to progress or reform
3 — free from prejudice or bigotry
4 — open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas
The word's etymology is :
c.1375, from O.Fr. liberal "befitting free men, noble, generous"
Being called a liberal is a compliment. It is a positive word, an honorable word.
I resent the cooption of a perfectly fine English word by polemicists!! Why are they messing with my beautiful language???!!?? (argh!!!!)
. . . . ok . . . I feel better now.
Regarding the word "conservative":
I can't recall who it was that, when asked if he considered himself conservative, said, "What's there to conserve?", but that viewpoint resonates strongly with me.
(This post started off as a response to a post on Notes From Off Center, but I figured I'd post it here as well)